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Bloodborne Pathogens

Bloodborne pathogens (BBPs) are microorganisms found in the blood of infected individuals that cause diseases. They may also be present in "other potentially infectious materials" such as blood-tainted body fluids, unfixed tissues or body parts, some biological research materials, and even other primates. These pathogens are a concern because they are capable of infecting others who are exposed to infectious blood or other body fluids. 


Some workers are at risk as a result of their occupational duties. These workers are required to receive bloodborne pathogens training prior to performing tasks during which occupational exposure may occur. Refresher training is required annually thereafter. The training covers a variety of topics aimed at reducing the risk of exposure and disease transmission. 


For employees who are unsure if the bloodborne pathogen program applies to their position, complete the parameter sheet for guidance and more information. 


For labs and workplaces that deal with bloodborne pathogens or other potentially infectious materials, EHS suggests the use of a Bloodborne Pathogen Binder.


The binder should include the following documents in order: 


Exposure Control Plan

An Exposure Control Plan (ECP) is a written action plan that identifies occupational risks and specifies precautionary control measures needed to manage and minimize potential exposure to bloodborne pathogens. Oklahoma State University's ECP is available in a template:


Hepatitis B Vaccination

Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is a serious bloodborne pathogen that attacks the liver and can cause potentially life-threatening disease in humans. HBV is transmitted through exposure to blood or other body fluids. 


Workers whose job duties include a reasonable risk of contact with blood or other potentially infections materials are required to be offered a vaccination series against HBV. The vaccine is offered after bloodborne pathogen training and within 10 working days of initial assignment to work unless the employee has previously received the complete HBV vaccination series, antibody testing has revealed immunity, or the employee cannot receive the vaccine for medical reasons. 


A form for acceptance or declination of the HBV vaccine must be filled out by all workers whose job duties have been identified as placing them at risk for exposure.


The standard Hepatitis B vaccination forms should be completed and returned to the appropriate individuals.


Exposure Incident Reporting

If a bloodborne pathogen exposure incident occurs, report the incident immediately to the supervisor and the safety office. Complete and submit an Employee Injury Report and a Sharps Injury Log if contaminated sharps were involved. 


DO NOT DELAY! If you believe you have been exposed to human blood or infectious materials, thoroughly wash the affected area and report the exposure to the biological safety contact listed below.


Important Contacts

  • For Assistance: EHS can answer any questions or concerns regarding bloodborne pathogens. Please contact Val Freeman at (405) 744-7241 or via email, 
  • Biological Safety: University Research Compliance at (405) 744-3203 or (405) 744-3376
  • Hepatitis B Immunization: University Health Services at (405) 744-7665
  • Spill Cleanup: report spills to EHS at (405) 744-7241


Additional Documents

Hepatitis B Vaccination Form

Employee Injury ReportSharps Injury Log

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